Sonamarg, at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level, 87 km north-east of Srinagar. The drive to Sonamarg is though yet another spectacular facet of country side in Kashmir, this time in Sindh Valley. The Sindh Valley is the largest tributary of the valley of Kashmir. It is upwards of sixty miles long, and valley and deep rock-girt gorge to open grassy meadow land and village-dotted slopes.
Sonamarg, which means ‘meadow of gold‘ has, as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. The Sindh meanders along here and abounds with trout and mahseer, snow trout can be caught in the main river. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier a major attraction during the summer months.
The climate of Sonamarg is very bracing; but the rainfall is frequent though not heavy, except for two or three days at a time in July and August with fine spell in between.
From Sonamarg, trekking routes lead to the Himalayan lakes of Vishansar lake, Krishnasar lake and Gangabal lake. Other lakes in the region are Gadsar lake, stocked with snow trout and Satsar, glacier-fed and surrounded by banks of alpine flowers.
A close by excursion is to Baltal, 15 km north of Sonamarg. This little valley lies at the foot of the Zojila, only a day’s journey away from the sacred cave of Amarnath. Trekkers can also reach the starkly splendid roof-top of the world – Leh, by crossing over the Zijila Pass